Dollar Brand was for a time the stage name of South African pianist and composer, Abdullah Ibrahim. Ibrahim was born Adolph Johannes Brand in Cape Town in 1934. His music incorporates traditional African songs, gospel, ragas, and jazz. He is married to jazz singer Sathima Bea Benjamin, and has two sons, one of whom is New York underground rapper Jean Grae.
He began playing jazz professionally at the age of 15. In 1960 he, together with Kippie Moeketsi and Hugh Masekela as The Jazz Epistles, recorded the first jazz LP by Black South African musicians. He moved to Europe in 1962. In February 1963, while performing in Zürich, Duke Ellington heard his show. The outcome was a joint recording - Duke Ellington presents The Dollar Brand Trio. The Dollar Brand Trio subsequently played at many European festivals, as well as on radio and television.
Ibrahim converted to Islam and changed his name in the mid-1970s. He continues to tour in Europe, the United States, and South Africa. Following the transition to democracy in 1994 he has returned home to Cape Town.